SPECIAL Turning the pages of these shining colourful volumes gives a unique thrill. GEETHA VENKATRAMANAN
G anga Snanam, crackers, new clothes… the special editions of Tamil journals also are an inseparable part of Deepavali. A quick look at the volumes:
“Uniformity is not important; unity is,” says Paramacharya in his opinion on religion. Succinctly he explains how to each his faith is important and it should not become hatred for others. An upbeat Abdul Kalam sings how he will fly high with his dreams. Fort St. George that has once again become the seat of the Tamil Nadu Assembly is the subject of Minister Jayakumar's essay. Short stories, travel pieces and health issues are among the other topics in this richly illustrated edition priced at Rs. 120.
‘Guruvai Varuvai' – the cover deals with the concept of Subramanya enlightening Siva. Suki Sivam is the writer. Veda's illustration of child Muruga on his father's lap with Parvati looking in wonderment is a delight with the peacock and Ganesa completing the picture. How important are art and aesthetics? Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati explains in his simple style. Outstanding illustrations – Adhigara Nandi, Pramahamsa Parameswaran, Siva on parrot, Mahavishnu on Garuda, etc – by Maniam Selvan and C.A. Ramachandran make this volume that has other regular features such as short stories, essays and poems.
Veteran Gopulu has captured on the cover, the episode of Urangavilli shielding his beautiful wife Ponnachi from the hot sun with an umbrella. Ramanujar watches the scene from a distance. Srivenugopalan gives the description inside. Literature – classic, medieval and contemporary – are represented through articles on authors of the period. Memories of Akhilan are revived by Chandrakanthan. A surprise is the piece on Thamizhvanan, writer and editor, by A.V.M Haja. Divine personalities – the series has Ramana, Vallalar, Shirdi Sai and Mother of Pondicherry. Maniam Selvan narrates how his father transformed photographs of Paramacharya with his drawing. Leading writers have authored short stories in this edition.
This handy volume has a strong cinema flavour right from the cover (Anushka) to the interviews and articles. Ajith's album, S. Rajath's nostalgic trip to the days of Sridhar, his meeting with Madan Garky, S. Ramaakrishnan's reminiscences of MGR are a few of the nuggets. The edition has a miscellany of other subjects – travel, short story, wildlife (stunning photographs), etc. Actor-turned orator Sivakumar has a lot to share with the youth. An attractive package on the whole.
The beautiful life-like face of Shirdi Sai adorns the cover. It is a fibre statue made by Ganesh Iyer, we learn from the article inside. The over five-ft figure presides over the Ananda Sai temple in Poonthandalam. Consecration of the Medavakkam (Sowmya Nagar) Sai temple has been fixed for November 7. Solomon Pappaiah talks about his childhood friend, who was a great support during difficult times. “I have visited Tirupati and know about the message of love that Sai spread,” he says in an interview. Sai Margam is full of articles of spiritual substance.
Maniam Selvan's beautiful portrait of Paramacharya is accompanied by the seer's expansive article on Krishna. A descriptive essay on the different mounts ( vahana s) at temples is something different unusual. Colourful pictures are a plus. Randor Guy's piece on Papanasam Sivan and the experiences of Srivat Jayarama Sarma, upanyasaka are the other highlights of this issue, priced at Rs. 120.
The subjects may not be different here from other special editions but the themes and writers are. Mookakavi (Paruthiyur Dr. K. Santhanaraman), reminiscences about Avvai Shanmugam (Gurukulam Murthi), the unique non-violence tradition of India where fasting is used as a protest tool (Kuchanur Govindaraj), Deepavali that Bharati celebrated (K. Ramamurti) are a few of the arresting line-up offered. Jwala (comment) and Yoga (picture) team up to punctuate the Ladies' Special issue (Rs. 110) with witty two-liners.
History, philosophy, religion, politics… the subjects are given a spiritual angle in this special edition that comes with a daily calendar for 2012. Articles on Dayananda Saraswati and the late Sambasiva Sivachariyar of Sri Kalikambal temple deserve mention. The opening piece on the impact Varanasi (Kasi) had on some illustrious people, including Vivekanada and Muthuswamy Dikshitar Poems is presented well. Short stories, poems and illustrations dot this volume meticulously put together.